Characters are important in movies. If you don’t have good, interesting characters that an audience can latch onto your movie is lost. Unless your movie has a charismatic lead that can pull it through. Unfortunately for Snow White and the Huntsman, it has neither.
First time director Rupert Sanders helms this modern day and epic live action version of Snow White. Rather than go the fantastical route like the classic Disney animation goes or the campy Mirror Mirror earlier this year, Sanders wanted to make it like The Lord of the Rings.
The thing about the Lord of the Rings? It had a solid script. And making a movie without a good script is like building a house on a bad foundation. It’s going to fall apart unless your architect is a magician.
The problems are plenty: it doesn’t adequately set up Snow White’s character, the other characters aren’t fleshed out even though they show hints of being deep characters, Snow White’s arc is inconsistent and the second act drags.
Snow White is supposed to be a pristine character that’s locked away for a long, long time in a castle. She spends her time making dolls out of straw and eating. She sees little of the outside world and her main memories of the world were colorful and beautiful. When she finally goes back into the world and finds that the evil queen has made everything die she doesn’t seemed shocked at all. The condition of the people of the kingdom doesn’t seem to phase her.
Or, maybe Kristen Stewarts single facial expression throughout the film killed the impact. Sorry, she did get mad, sad and um – yeah.
As for Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron? They do well enough with what they’re given but their ultimately they’re not quite up to their standards. In fact, even the score isn’t up to par. I noticed multiple times during the first half that the score contrasted with the scene. Burning village and fleeing heroes? Cue the adventurous and happy music.
The one thing it really has going for it is the seven dwarves, which inject some life into a movie that sags most of the way through. Too bad they come in far too late to make a large enough impact. The special effects and visuals are quite impressive in parts as well, but over direction by Sanders kills the impact of some of the scenes. Do we really have to slo-mo in on K-Stew’s face flinching at water hitting her face while leading an army – twice?
Taking Snow White and trying to make it as epic as Lord of the Rings is a noble gesture, but the terrible script exposes it early and all you end up with is an epic failure.